“Jedi Master PyroNet” – That’s what my husband called me … a mashup of Star Wars and a comic book character who helps people to realize their dreams, become change agents, and proverbially “set the world on fire!” That was what he saw when I was dressed in my UMBC tee-shirt and cloak several weeks ago when I was a speaker for Awesome Con. Awesome Con is described as “a celebration of geek culture, bringing over 70,000 fans together with their favorite stars from across comics, movies, television, toys, games, and more! “ Awesome Con is also home to: Future Con, “an area of Awesome Con exploring where science and science fiction meet – created with the Smithsonian!” (REF: Awesome Con FAQ).
It was an honor to be a speaker for the “Diversity, STEAM, and Comics” panel where I had a chance to talk about Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Wonder Woman, and Lt. Uhura from Star Trek. Admittedly, I like the concept of “The Justice League,” but my (small) comic book collection has more books from Marvel than DC Comics, and yes, I am a fan of “The Avengers.”
My husband gave me the nickname because he would regularly hear me talk with students in various locations and at events nationally and internationally, and I would give them these “commands” that would sound “Jedi-like” – and the student would follow through in pursuit. So, imagine that I am waving my hand in front of your face, in true Jedi style, and I say:
- You WILL be successful
Now you say, “I will be successful.”
- You WILL go to college
You say, “I will go to college”
You get the picture now … I give students the “command.” They respond.
- You WILL get a STEM degree
- You WILL get a PhD
- You WILL become a professor
- You WILL be an agent for change
I am so pleased to have been given the opportunity to speak into the lives of many people who have received advanced degrees. They are setting the world on fire!
Here are some of the tweets from the event:
— SmithsonianMediaLIVE (@SmithsonianLive) March 31, 2018
Thanks @NSF_ENG for inviting me to talk about opening our imaginations to stimulate innovation during "Diversity, STEAM, and Comics" at @AwesomeCon #AwesomeCon18. It was fun to discuss science & representation #BlackPanther, #BlueMarvel, Lt. Uhura, and others. #ThinkBigDiversity pic.twitter.com/ESSJtQco7p
— Renetta G. Tull (@Renetta_Tull) April 5, 2018